Does your manager operate on assumptions? It's kind of a turn on my saying, what management does know will hurt them. The following are some examples:
- We hit our numbers (cutting costs, revenue goals, quarterly profit), therefore we've earned the right to proceed with the next phase of growth.
- The last employee survey was better than the last, so we don't need to dig any deeper into past complaints of favoritism.
- We all have sacrificed, so morale isn't as bad as it may appear. Besides, we're a team.
Obviously, you and I could think of many other examples. My point is to illustrate the two different worlds management and employees live in. The most dangerous part is the inevitable collision to come. In America those collisions are happening on a regular basis. For example, our fiscal cliff is causing many publically traded companies to pay out one-time dividends at a lightening pace to beat what they see as the inevitble in 2013. The hike in tax consequences on dividend income. This is happening while many employees, and potential employees, are wondering when will the hiring will start again. The money is there for a dividend, why not for hiring someone.
Human beings are complex creatures. The DNA is fixed and we are who we are. Survival instincts, the need for affirmation and a desire for clarity are just a few to consider. How can this be missed. Lower quality leaders just don't know any better. Call it a leadership deficit that's difficult to remedy.
We're doing battle with culture here. A culture that staked everything, or so it seems, on some false-growth model. There needs to be some cleaning out to the rot. I'm not advocating we toss the entire system out, but I am advocating that we add some serious leadership development that is NOT based on giving the appearance of change. Way too many programs conform to keeping the status quo alive and well. We need to find courage now because we are far into the second-half. Expecting an epic comeback is a very dangerous outlook.
Management is toying with grave consequences when it forgets this.